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CD Review

The Nightingale and the Sparrow

  • John Bull:
  • Walsingham
  • Fantasy
  • In Nomine IV
  • Salvator Mundi II
  • Fantasy on Ut re me fa sol la I
  • Chromatic Pavane (Queen Elizabeth's)
  • Chromatic Galliard
  • Prelude to the In Nomine
  • In Nomine IX
  • Giles Farnaby:
  • Fantasy
  • Woody-cock
  • Mal Sims
  • Muscadin or Kempe's Morris
  • The King's Hunt
Derek Adlam, harpsichord/organ/muselar
Guild GMCD7233
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Derek Adlam proves his virtuosity here with a marvellous and characterful collection of works for various instruments by the forgotten composers, John Bull (1562/3-1628) and Giles Farnaby (c.1563-1640).

The long 'Walsingham' by Bull is splendidly done, this is nineteen minutes of beauty and revered invention on all counts. 'In Nomine' and 'Salvator Mundi' are also important pieces that demonstrate Bull's capacity for turning out profound imagery in a miniaturist form.

The muselar is used to excellent effect in Giles Farnaby's 'Fantasy' whilst the harpsichord returns with 'Woody Cock' by Farnaby and Bull's interesting 'Variations'. Finally there are more pieces for muselar and others for harpsichord that also show Adlam as a sympathetic interpreter of the wide variety of music on offer.

The variation of material is intriguing and also offers scope for further rediscoveries in this area after Hyperion's monumental survey of Byrd's keyboard music. Guild provides fine and readable notes and also include some useful diagrams of the instruments used. A fine issue in the rather neglected English keyboard repertoire.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech